Darren McFadden: Raiders Should Explore Trading Star RB in the Offseason

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IDecember 16, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball against the Denver Broncos at O.co Coliseum on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders should explore their options in the trade market with star running back Darren McFadden during the offseason because of his inability to stay on the field consistently.

He is listed as probable for Week 15 (via ESPN) after suffering an injury last week against the Denver Broncos, but McFadden has not been a reliable player this season because of injuries, and this is unlikely to change moving forward.

McFadden has played in just nine of the Raiders' 13 games this season, and over his entire career, he has missed 23 games in four-plus seasons.

He was leading the NFL in rushing yards last season before an injury forced him to miss the final nine games, but McFadden hasn't been as productive this year.

McFadden has three total touchdowns this season, with just two 100-yard rushing games. He also hasn't been much of a factor in the passing game and has caught two or more passes in only four contests.

Even though Marcel Reece has struggled over the last two weeks, he would be a good starting running back for the Raiders next season as the franchise rebuilds. His ability to make plays in the running and passing games is impressive.

Oakland should trade McFadden in the offseason for another NFL player or a draft pick. This year's draft class has a ton of defensive talent, which is good news for the Raiders, whose defense ranks 28th against the pass and 26th versus the run.

It's tough to determine McFadden's trade value because of his injury concerns, but there's no question that he has immense talent as a running back and as a receiver out of the backfield.

Contending teams that need to upgrade at the running back position to have better chances to make Super Bowl runs may be interested in McFadden after the season ends.

A few teams that would be wise to consider acquiring McFadden include the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts.

When healthy, McFadden can be a top-tier player, so Oakland should be able to find at least a couple teams interested in acquiring him via trade during the offseason.

McFadden is a great player, but since he cannot stay healthy on a consistent basis, it's time for the Raiders to find a more reliable player for this position.